November blog #2 The problem with Apu

“Look, you’re still allowed to love “The Simpsons.” All I’m saying is that “The Simpsons” is like your racist grandfather. You love your grandfather. He’s been there your whole life and has taught you so many valuable things. But he still does racist stuff regularly. So if he can’t change, maybe it’s time he dies. And you can just remember the best things about him — seasons 1 through 10. Oh, and one more thing. Aah! Yeah, I think about what my mom’s been through in this country, right? People saying things like, “Take that dot off your head,” or “Why are you wearing bed sheets out of the house,” or “Why don’t you shut up and make me food?” And this is just stuff me and my brothers said to her, growing up. Now, can you imagine what she dealt with out of the house? ”

With disrespectful sentences like ” “Take that dot off your head,” or “Why are you wearing bed sheets out of the house,” or “Why don’t you shut up and make me food?” ,” Kondabolu fist doesn’t mention who spoke these sentences, and later he explains that he and his brothers did. This can create an contrast between how people in a family react to stereotypes and how much worse can foreign people act seeing Kondabolu’s mother on the street.


At 5:54, Hari Kondabolu was discussing problems on apu with actors and other comedians, then he asked if any of them were bullied, “How many of you were bullied in any capacity as a child… How many had to deal with being called apu or that being referenced?” Right after that, the he starts to show clips of people recalling and talking about their memories. These memories of other Indian actors can give the audiences an example of how they had bad memories associated with the stereotype that apu brought. By having stories, this can attract the audiences’ attention, and make the problem with apu a more real life problem to the audiences, closing the distance between the filmmaker and the watchers.


Hari Kondabolu also used interviews on the street. Since it seems like that he randomly chose subject to talk to, the interviews can be less biased, more objective and credible to the audiences because Kondabolu’s  approach to this sterotype problem is biased since he is one of the victums.



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